Successful implementation of any large project is largely based on two factors:
- The participation of all team members
- Good communication
The project you’re trying to implement could be the best project in the world promising great, big benefits but if your team members aren’t on-board or communication is not fluid, the project will likely fail. That’s just the hard truth.
It should go without saying, but teamwork and communication are vital in any business, manufacturing included. So, when you want to implement manufacturing analytics to keep up with the changing landscape, there are a few key points to consider before beginning the project.
So, How Can I Implement Manufacturing Analytics and Get My Team on Board?
Implementing manufacturing analytics is not difficult. Typically, it takes about a day to connect machines and start collecting data. In no time, the factory floor will be up and running and you can gain visibility and accountability quickly. The problems arise when employees are not on board with the implementation of any IIoT software, manufacturing analytics included.
There can be a couple of reasons employees are wary of manufacturing analytics:
1. People can feel like the company is turning into ‘Big Brother’, watching over their every move every second of the day. They may think you don’t trust them to do a good job or practice good judgment.
2. Change can be scary for many, and in this case, your employees may think you’re going to use smart factory software to either replace humans with robots or fire the employees who are underperforming.
In reality, those thoughts and beliefs are furthest from the truth, but how do you convey that to your skeptical employees?
As a manufacturer, you have a responsibility to your employees, to develop and teach vital skills, to foster growth, to create a progressive environment. When you implement manufacturing analytics, you have to be very transparent about what you’re intending to measure and why to establish a setting that fosters understanding and the desire to learn and improve. Once the data is collected, you have to share it with your people. In the same way, you share your goals and expectations with us about what you want from SensrTrx, you can share and explain those same goals and expectations with your employees.
Why is it Important to be Transparent?
Let’s consider an example. If you have a lot of variability in quality or production rates on different machines (or, even on those machines that are making the same product), you are probably wanting to use SensrTrx to figure out why. Those insights can provide a lot of data, true, but you can also learn why Jimmy on Machine #2 is doing well and Liz on Machine #4 isn’t. Then, use that knowledge to teach Liz on Machine #4 the same skills and tactics so she’s both trained and empowered to increase her numbers.
The example highlights the benefits of software like SensrTrx.
- Learn from one another.
- Apply those learnings across the plant.
- Enable the success of all of your employees, not just a few high performers.
Manufacturing analytics can be used as a tool to monitor the process and understand where the inefficiencies to then help employees improve. It’s designed to empower your employees with key insight and learning techniques, not negatively affect morale or job security.
That is a clear distinction that needs to be made quickly and clearly to your employees from the start – no one wants to think their livelihood is at risk.
In addition to the education benefits, analytics can help your employees be more successful because they can communicate clearly what the goals are, how they’re being held accountable to those goals, and where they stand against those goals at any given time.
If there is a real problem, real data can tell you where it’s coming from, rather than causing fingerpointing and confusion. (See: Zen and Manufacturing Analytics, a blog about creating harmony on the plant floor.)
To create cohesion among the company and employees, we firmly believe there are 3 key things that enable people to be successful with manufacturing analytics.
1. Place scoreboards on the plant floor and in employee common areas.
2. Use the dashboard subscriptions to communicate daily or weekly production numbers.
3. Review the numbers as a team in daily or weekly production meetings.
Too few companies consider the necessary partnership between people and data. The two work hand in hand and you’d be making a mistake to think one can be without the other. It’s all of our responsibility to enable our employees to be the best they can be. Sounds cliché? Maybe. But, the point is that our employees are the backbone to successfully running the company and we must treat them as so. Give employees the power to learn, help one another, and be successful with real-time data.
Implement manufacturing analytics with a clear understanding of the goals and how to achieve those goals and you’ll establish a unified organization that works together to contribute to the company’s success.
We’ve all heard this saying a time or two, most likely in little league sports, but there’s truth to it – “There’s no ‘I’ in team.”